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Adnams Great East Run
Sunday 21st February 2010
Alex Downie

WHAT A SHOCKER!
For me, this could be a case of once 'frost-bitten' twice shy. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a touch...most of my bodily extremities were just about present and intact at the last count, but it was a near thing at Bungay on Sunday, and I'm seriously reviewing whether to do this race again, or indeed any long run in very cold weather.
When I next get the urge, please can someone take me into a quiet corner and say something like, 'Look , Al, I don't know how to put this, but should you really be doing this? Remember, you lost that finger in the Finland 50, and another in the Norwegian Nasty Ninety-Niner. Is this any different? My advice is...don't do it, mate! Wait for sunny St. Ives!'
I can honestly say that I've thoroughly enjoyed running in this race several times in the past. It's scenic, rural and really well organised and marshalled. They give you beer and soup at the finish, so plenty of plusses there then.
But you may have noticed that the weather this year has been somewhat inclement? Words like grim, grisly and gruesome; dour, desperate and depressing; mean, miserable and malevolent all spring readily to mind -and yes I'm still describing the weather, not myself.
As one Bungay 20k-er muttered'I looked ahead at the drab procession of hunched-up runners, crouched against the driving rain/sleet/snow, and wondered why? - why are we here? - what on earth are we doing?' Yes, you can get a certain amount of machismo pleasure from a battle with the elements, but it's got to be a fair fight. It's not too much fun when the elements are winning hands down.
Sometimes, we can get trapped in the same old habits, turning up at the same old races year after year. Nothing really wrong with that, but sometimes a little flexible thinking may be called for, e.g. why set off for a long race a long way off in dire conditions, or once there, why not opt to reduce the misery, and go for the 10k instead?
Ponder on, friends!
Despite the wretched conditions, Andy and Carmel both had terrific results; they just keep getting better and better!


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